As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning

The Autobiographical Trilogy

Book 2
Open Road Media
19
Free sample

The author of Cider with Rosie continues his bestselling autobiographical trilogy with “a wondrous adventure” through Spain on the eve of its civil war (Library Journal).

On a bright Sunday morning in June 1934, Laurie Lee left the village home so lovingly portrayed in his bestselling memoir, Cider with Rosie. His plan was to walk the hundred miles from Slad to London, with a detour of an extra hundred miles to see the sea for the first time. He was nineteen years old and brought with him only what he could carry on his back: a tent, a change of clothes, his violin, a tin of biscuits, and some cheese. He spent the first night in a ditch, wide awake and soaking wet.

From those unlikely beginnings, Laurie Lee fashioned not just the adventure of a lifetime, but one of the finest travel narratives of the twentieth century. As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, written more than thirty years after the events it describes, is an elegant and irresistibly charming portrait of life on the road—first in England, where the familiar landscapes and people somehow made Lee feel far from home, and then in Spain, whose utter foreignness afforded a new kind of comfort.

In that brief period of peace, a young man was free to go wherever he wanted to in Europe. Lee picked Spain because he knew enough Spanish to ask for a glass of water. What he did not know, and what would become clear only after a year spent tramping across the beautiful and rugged countryside—from the Galician port city of Vigo, over the Sierra de Guadarrama and into Madrid, and along the Costa del Sol—was that the Spanish Republic would soon need idealistic young men like Lee as badly as he needed it.
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More by Laurie Lee

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This international-bestselling memoir of childhood in post–World War I rural England is one of the most “remarkable” portraits of youth in all literature (The New York Times).

Three years old and wrapped in a Union Jack to protect him from the sun, Laurie Lee arrived in the village of Slad in the final summer of the First World War. The cottage his mother had rented for three and sixpence a week had neither running water nor electricity, but it was surrounded by a lovely half-acre garden and, most importantly, it was big enough for the seven children in her care. It was here, in a verdant valley tucked into the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, that Laurie Lee learned to look at life with a painter’s eye and a poet’s heart—qualities of vision that, decades later, would make him one of England’s most cherished authors.

In this vivid recollection of a magical time and place, water falls from the scullery pump “sparkling like liquid sky.” Autumn is more than a season—it is a land eternally aflame, like Moses’s burning bush. Every midnight, on a forlorn stretch of heath, a phantom carriage reenacts its final, wild ride. And, best of all, the first secret sip of cider, “juice of those valleys and of that time,” leads to a boy’s first kiss, “so dry and shy, it was like two leaves colliding in air.”

An instant classic when it was first published in 1959, Cider with Rosie is one of the most endearing and evocative portraits of youth in all of literature. The first installment in an autobiographical trilogy that includes As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning and A Moment of War, it is also a heartfelt and lyrical ode to England, and to a way of life that may belong to the past, but will never be forgotten. 
A young man’s journey—from the international bestselling account of his idyllic childhood in rural England to “a poetic memoir” of the Spanish Civil War (The Washington Post).
 
In his acclaimed autobiographical trilogy, “one of the great writers of the twentieth century” presents a vivid portrait of coming of age in Europe between the wars (The Independent). Beginning with the international bestselling, lyrical memoir of his childhood in the Cotswolds, Laurie Lee follows up with a fascinating travel narrative of crossing England and Spain on foot, and brings the story to a climax with a gripping chronicle of his part in the Spanish Civil War.
 
Cider with Rosie:
International Bestseller
Three years old and wrapped in a Union Jack to protect him from the sun, Laurie Lee arrived in the village of Slad in the final summer of the First World War. The cottage his mother had rented had neither running water nor electricity, but it was surrounded by a lovely half-acre garden and big enough for the seven children in her care. In this verdant valley tucked into the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, Lee learned to look at life with a painter’s eye and a poet’s heart—qualities of vision that, decades later, would make him one of England’s most cherished authors.
 
“A remarkable book . . . dazzling.” —The New York Times
 
As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning: At age nineteen, Lee set out to walk the hundred miles from Slad to London, carrying only a change of clothes, his violin, a tent, a tin of biscuits, and some cheese. With a detour of an extra hundred miles to see the sea for the first time, Lee hopped a ferry to Spain because he knew enough Spanish to ask for a glass of water, and wandered the country for a year on foot. In one of the finest travel narratives of the twentieth century, Lee offers an unforgettable portrait of Spain on the eve of its civil war.
 
“The vivid, sensitive, irresistibly readable story of what happened after [Lee] left home.” —The Daily Mail
 
A Moment of War: Returning to a divided Spain in the bitter December of 1937 by crossing the Pyrenees from France, the idealistic young Lee came face to face with the reality of war, in this New York Times Notable Book. The International Brigade he sought to join was far from the gallant fighting force he’d envisioned but instead a collection of misfits without proper leadership or purpose. In a sudden confrontation with the enemy, he was left feeling anything but heroic. Captured more than once as a spy, Lee was lucky to escape with his life.
 
“Written with brilliant economy and belongs to the remarkable literature which the Spanish Civil War inspired.” —The Independent
4.6
19 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Jun 10, 2014
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Pages
203
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ISBN
9781497641372
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
History / Europe / Spain & Portugal
Travel / Europe / Spain & Portugal
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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This international-bestselling memoir of childhood in post–World War I rural England is one of the most “remarkable” portraits of youth in all literature (The New York Times).

Three years old and wrapped in a Union Jack to protect him from the sun, Laurie Lee arrived in the village of Slad in the final summer of the First World War. The cottage his mother had rented for three and sixpence a week had neither running water nor electricity, but it was surrounded by a lovely half-acre garden and, most importantly, it was big enough for the seven children in her care. It was here, in a verdant valley tucked into the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, that Laurie Lee learned to look at life with a painter’s eye and a poet’s heart—qualities of vision that, decades later, would make him one of England’s most cherished authors.

In this vivid recollection of a magical time and place, water falls from the scullery pump “sparkling like liquid sky.” Autumn is more than a season—it is a land eternally aflame, like Moses’s burning bush. Every midnight, on a forlorn stretch of heath, a phantom carriage reenacts its final, wild ride. And, best of all, the first secret sip of cider, “juice of those valleys and of that time,” leads to a boy’s first kiss, “so dry and shy, it was like two leaves colliding in air.”

An instant classic when it was first published in 1959, Cider with Rosie is one of the most endearing and evocative portraits of youth in all of literature. The first installment in an autobiographical trilogy that includes As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning and A Moment of War, it is also a heartfelt and lyrical ode to England, and to a way of life that may belong to the past, but will never be forgotten. 
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • Entertainment Weekly • Kirkus Reviews • The Christian Science Monitor

In the picturesque village of Guzmán, Spain, in a cave dug into a hillside on the edge of town, an ancient door leads to a cramped limestone chamber known as “the telling room.” Containing nothing but a wooden table and two benches, this is where villagers have gathered for centuries to share their stories and secrets—usually accompanied by copious amounts of wine.
 
It was here, in the summer of 2000, that Michael Paterniti found himself listening to a larger-than-life Spanish cheesemaker named Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras as he spun an odd and compelling tale about a piece of cheese. An unusual piece of cheese. Made from an old family recipe, Ambrosio’s cheese was reputed to be among the finest in the world, and was said to hold mystical qualities. Eating it, some claimed, conjured long-lost memories. But then, Ambrosio said, things had gone horribly wrong. . . .

By the time the two men exited the telling room that evening, Paterniti was hooked. Soon he was fully embroiled in village life, relocating his young family to Guzmán in order to chase the truth about this cheese and explore the fairy tale–like place where the villagers conversed with farm animals, lived by an ancient Castilian code of honor, and made their wine and food by hand, from the grapes growing on a nearby hill and the flocks of sheep floating over the Meseta.

What Paterniti ultimately discovers there in the highlands of Castile is nothing like the idyllic slow-food fable he first imagined. Instead, he’s sucked into the heart of an unfolding mystery, a blood feud that includes accusations of betrayal and theft, death threats, and a murder plot. As the village begins to spill its long-held secrets, Paterniti finds himself implicated in the very story he is writing.

Equal parts mystery and memoir, travelogue and history, The Telling Room is an astonishing work of literary nonfiction by one of our most accomplished storytellers. A moving exploration of happiness, friendship, and betrayal, The Telling Room introduces us to Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras, an unforgettable real-life literary hero, while also holding a mirror up to the world, fully alive to the power of stories that define and sustain us.

Praise for The Telling Room

“Captivating . . . Paterniti’s writing sings, whether he’s talking about how food activates memory, or the joys of watching his children grow.”—NPR
A scintillatingly witty memoir telling the story of a young woman's determined struggle for freedom

We all know families that are poor but 'respectable'. Mine, in contrast, was extremely rich but not 'respectable' at all...

This is the unforgettable memoir of an 'odd, rich, exotic' childhood, of growing up in Azerbaijan in the turbulent early twentieth century, caught between East and West, tradition and modernity.

Banine remembers her luxurious home, with endless feasts of sweets and fruit; her beloved, flaxen-haired German governess; her imperious, swearing, strict Muslim grandmother; her bickering, poker-playing, chain-smoking relatives. She recalls how the Bolsheviks came, and they lost everything. How, amid revolution and bloodshed, she fell passionately in love, only to be forced into marriage with a man she loathed- until the chance of escape arrived.

By turns gossipy and romantic, wry and moving, Days in the Caucasus is a coming-of-age story and a portrait of a vanished world. Banine shows us what it means to leave the past behind, and how it haunts us.

Banine was born Umm El-Banu Assadullayeva in 1905, into a wealthy family in Baku, then part of the Russian Empire. Following the Russian Revolution and the subsequent fall of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, Banine was forced to flee her home-country - first to Istanbul, and then to Paris. In Paris she formed a wide circle of literary acquaintances including Nicos Kazantzakis, André Malraux, Ivan Bunin and Teffi and eventually began writing herself. Days in the Caucasus is Banine's most famous work. It was published in 1945 to critical acclaim but has never been translated into English, until now.

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